So, how do we know how old a fossil is? There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating. Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages. Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using absolute dating carbon 14 dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it. Relative Dating The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.
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How Does Carbon Dating Work Carbon-14 is a weakly radioactive isotope of Carbon; also known as radiocarbon, it is an isotopic chronometer. C-14 dating is only applicable to organic and some inorganic materials not applicable to metals. Gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting and accelerator mass spectrometry are the three principal radiocarbon dating methods. What is Radiocarbon Dating? Radiocarbon dating is a method that provides objective age estimates for carbon-based materials that originated from living organisms.
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Atomic number, atomic mass, and isotopes Video transcript What I want to do in this video is kind of introduce you to the idea of, one, how carbon-14 comes about, and how it gets into all living things. And then either later in this video or in future videos we'll talk about how it's actually used to date things, how we use it actually figure out that that bone is 12,000 years old, or that person died 18,000 years ago, whatever it might be.
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